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giant tortoise

“just call me Speedy Gonzales”

Where was I? Ah, yes, job hunting. The thing that’s really struck me since I started job hunting in earnest is the speed with which everything happens. Take last week, for example  –  I was looking through the Daily Information list of Jobs Offered

  • Aged 18-50 and never had malaria?  
  • Artist’s nude model required, ladies only, 18 stone+, looks not essential (talk about knowing how to make a girl feel special)
  • candidats francophones prêts à co-animer un camp de vacances …
  • Irish gaelic native speaker wanted …   
  • Plain-looking lady model wanted for art nude, any size, looks do not matter at all … (I think you’ve made your point)
  • … literate applicants  …  (that’s more like it)

A quick Google reveals a small company that specializes in creating test data. Software testing is one of my passions. In fact. this is pretty nearly as good as it gets! (As good as it gets is Betty’s in Harrogate, but rigorous software testing is a close second).

Wednesday 23:06

 I’m writing in response to your advert in Daily Information for “literate applicants” to find out a little more about the kind of skills that you are looking for.

I’m a semi-retired (literate) IT professional looking for interesting  and challenging  temporary or part-time work and would be happy to  send you a copy of my CV.

Thursday 02/02/2012 06:12

Please send your CV as soon as you can. We are inviting a short list of candidates to our offices tomorrow.

Thursday 02/02/2012 13:42

Thank you for your prompt reply.

The activities you describe sound ideal. As you will see from my CV (attached), I am experienced in working with data and writing technical documents (IT professional/ project manager), have good administrative skills (Census enumerator) and a flexible attitude.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thursday 02/02/2012 15:09

Hi, Any chance of getting to our offices tomorrow at 3.30pm?

Thursday 02/02/2012 15:10

(Thinks) Can I do lunch with AIK and get back in time to get to the company’s offices? mmm … not really. I cancel my luncheon engagement.

Thursday 02/02/2012 15:35

Yes, I can do that.

Later the same day

Explore the company website. Fascinating.


Interview checklist:

  • Bath
  • Hair
  • Nails
  • Check that zip folder contains passport, P45 (think  positive), ‘O’ Level certificate, ‘A’ level certificate, OU certificates, project management certificate, Kung Fu certificate, swimming cert … maybe not
  • Interview clothes, interview shoes
  • Notebook with note of intelligent questions

Friday 03/02/2012 14:40

Head off to interview.

Just about to turn off the bypass when I realise, to my horror, that I didn’t check to see whether I had the money for the toll bridge.

a nearby village

a nearby village

Am running a bit early, so decide to pull off the road and wait in a nearby village. This gives me an opportunity to check whether I have the correct money for the toll.  (This is no joke; I once approached the toll bridge with nothing less than a £10 note to pay the 5p toll (I am not making this up)). Happily, I had the correct change, so was able to proceed to the next stage.

The interview went well, which means that it felt more like an interesting conversation than a formal interview with somebody ticking off items on a checklist.

Wednesday 08/02/2012 21:34

Many thanks for coming into our offices last week. We interviewed you as you made our short list but unfortunately we have decided to proceed with different candidate. I appreciate this is not the news you wanted to hear but we would like to thank you for the interest you have shown in [our company] and wish you every success in the future.

Wednesday 08/02/2012 21:35

Back to the old drawing board.